Pages tagged "Health Before Happy Hour"
California legislators will vote Tuesday on a bill that would regulate the production and distribution of medical marijuana (cannabis) across the state. AB 1894, the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Control Act, was introduced by Assembly member Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) and bring strict controls to how medical cannabis is grown, manufactured and sold in California. And, while patients should benefit from statewide regulations aimed at improving the quality and safety of their medicine, giving authority to the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), as AB 1894 does, will spell disaster for the patient community in California and ignores the problems of its neighbor to the north, Washington State.
Proponents of Initiative 502, Washington State's legalization measure, promised medical cannabis patients in the lead up to the vote that their longstanding rights would not be impacted. Yet, soon after the initiative passed, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB), an administrative agency that looks like California's ABC, recommended legislators do away with Washington's 16-year-old medical cannabis law and empower the LCB to oversee all marijuana activity. The prime motivation for this? The medical cannabis market represents a perceived threat to the state's expected tax revenues from I-502, which are in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
To many unaware public officials, the idea of rolling the medical cannabis market into the recreational marijuana market seemed to make sense. It's all marijuana after all, right? Wrong! The needs and rights of patients would be ignored under the authority of a liquor-based regulatory agency, and evidence of this can be seen in Washington.